Full time RVing with a Toddler
by Mandi, Georgetown, TN
(A mother shares about FT RVing with a young child.)
Full time RVing with a toddler presents some unique challenges. Mandi, a full time RVing mother, shares what she does, how it works for her, and she has some excellent advice for other RVing parents.
Here's Mandi's story about living in an RV with a young child:
Many people worry about RVing with their children, especially full time. Well, I have been full time RVing for a while now. Started when I was 14, living with my father. Grew up, moved out, had a child, and something brought me back to it.
After having my daughter, finding out I was moving into an RV again, I was a little worried. We had so much stuff and toys I knew we would never be able to take it all! For the most part I managed to prove myself wrong.
People can still walk into our mini-casa and have no clue a child lives with us. Full time RVing with a toddler is all about organization and accessibility. The closet in our room and under the RV are my favorite places for this. For all of her little indoor toys she has a toy box the fits nicely in the bottom of the closet and she has several outdoor toys that hide away under the RV, hidden by the skirt. She even has her own little tent that gets taken out the most. We set down a little outside blanket, pitch her mini tent, load it with her tea party toys and baby dolls, and she has a blast out there. It seems like she loves her outside toys more than her inside ones. She is always taking our little dog in the tent, saying, "Come on, Tay Tay, it's tea time." She grabs a small hand full of dog food and puts it in her little toy cups and feeds the dogs. She has many other toys, too, one being a little art easel we take out when she wants it; she will sit there in the yard like an artist painting a scenery.
The biggest reason I say accessibility is key for full time RVing with a toddler is because if it's not easy to get out it's more tempting to turn on cartoons. My daughter does watch cartoons in the mornings for a little, but as soon as she can, she has her shoes on ready to go play outside. I don't want my daughter to become a TV junkie because I don't want to bust out the toys, so her stuff goes in the most easily accessible places.
Another key to living with children in an RV is making sure they know how to pick up after themselves. I take the toy box out and every night before dinner she picks up her toys and tells me, "Mommy put my toys back, please." It makes things much easier for clean up.
We spend a lot of time together and sometimes the weather is chilly so she plays inside. But I find patience runs thin if I'm making lunch or dinner and I'm tripping over toys. So, when the weather is good enough, she spends her play time outside.
Just, please, make sure your children know to stay in the "yard." I have some neighbors in the park with another young boy, and it seems like every time I go or come he is in the middle of the road. I make it very clear to my daughter she is to stay in the yard. Even though you feel like you're always watching them, you can be watching them out the kitchen window while you're washing dishes, look down for a second to rinse a dish, and they're gone. Please, make sure your children know to stay in your area.Go to other articles about RVing and camping with kids.Go to the RV Life and Travel blog.